Some birds are easier to get close to than others.
I can walk within a few feet of this Downy Woodpecker before he flies away. When he flies, he reminds me of a moth. He flutters around and just sort of ends up somewhere.
You can see he is a male by the red patch on his head. This fellow has a distinctive bit of black mixed into the red.
Behavior is also a way to identify this particular bird. He seems a bit “touched.” Sort of out of it.
Can individual birds be crazier or dumber than other birds of the same species? Did this one fly into a tree, hit his head and boggle his brains? Is he a woodpecker changeling? Or is he one of the young ones still learning his way around?
In these photos, he is a few feet away from a suet cake. Suet is the preferred food of Downy Woodpeckers in our backyard. But he is clinging to a tube feeder, with perches for the finch-type visitors, and staring at the seed.
A couple of days ago, I watched this woodpecker (I call him Forrest Gump) cling to the tube feeder in this position absolutely motionless for about 8 minutes.
Can woodpeckers fall asleep with their eyes open? Was he in a trance?
Forrest Gump is awestruck, lost in the moment.
He is going to need some luck to survive in this backyard, with the Broad-winged Hawk and other predators nearby in the woods. Strange little creature.